Bonsai Sizes

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Bonsai Sizes

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:24 pm

Our club is having a session on shohin bonsai in November. Can someone tell me why the standard height limit is 10 inches (25 cm) in the US and Europe, while in Japan it is 8 inches (20 cm)?
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Iris

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Re: Bonsai Sizes

Post  dorothy7774 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:13 pm

bonsaisr wrote:Our club is having a session on shohin bonsai in November. Can someone tell me why the standard height limit is 10 inches (25 cm) in the US and Europe, while in Japan it is 8 inches (20 cm)?
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Iris
Iris, I ran into the same problem and was told that in Japan the "feeling of a tree" is more important than the actual size. They do not seem to strictly go by measurement. By size only a very small tree with a tall top jin for example would not qualify as shohin size albeit it has the definete feeling of a shohin tree.
It has to do with being able to hold it in one's hand. Perhaps Europeans have bigger hands..Wink

Best,
Dorothy

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Re: Bonsai Sizes

Post  JimLewis on Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:13 pm

Dorothy is 100% correct. Only we westerners are so obsessed with exact numbers for "bigness" or "value". We're the ones who invented calipers and the slide rule, after all.

I've seen "shohin" displayed in Japan that were 13 or 14 inches tall, but they were thin and airy, and very graceful and lightweight.

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Re: Bonsai Sizes

Post  Todd Ellis on Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:52 pm

Thank you for the question, this thread is very helpful. May I presume that Mame "size" follow the same "guidelines"?

Todd

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Re: Bonsai Sizes

Post  DougB on Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:47 pm

Was wondering around the web looking for various sources for size classification. Seems as we already know that the Japanese classify a bonsai by how many men it takes to carry the tree. Westerners of course put specific mm/in to this. I guess I would agree with some who say this was a step backwards.

OK my question is what is the earliest references to bonsai size classifications from each of the regions of the world?

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Re: Bonsai Sizes

Post  Stan Kengai on Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:05 pm

This may or may not be of interest here, but I thought it was interesting and gives a bit of clarity in Japanese size classification. I think I saw it on Morten Albek's website, but can't find it to reference now. I always thought there was an odd and unclear overlap in "kifu" and "chuhin" size bonsai. As it turn out, chuhin is a classification for former shohin trees that have outgrown the shohin size but still have a shohin feel to them. A tree that was a shohin, outgrows size classification and gets redesigned would be a kifu.

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Re: Bonsai Sizes

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:30 pm

Stan Kengai wrote:This may or may not be of interest here, but I thought it was interesting and gives a bit of clarity in Japanese size classification.  I think I saw it on Morten Albek's website, but can't find it to reference now.  I always thought there was an odd and unclear overlap in "kifu" and "chuhin" size bonsai.  As it turn out, chuhin is a classification for former shohin trees that have outgrown the shohin size but still have a shohin feel to them.  A tree that was a shohin, outgrows size classification and gets redesigned would be a kifu.
What will you call the trees that was created in the chuhin/kifu sice from the beginning?

kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Bonsai Sizes

Post  MichaelJ on Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:53 pm

I've seen three different sets of size classifications, and have no idea which, if any, are generally accepted:

1.

Keishi Bonsai (thumb size) – Up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in height
Shito Bonsai (very small) – Up to 3 inch (7.5 cm) in height
Mame Bonsai (mini) – Up to 6 inch (15 cm) in height
Shohin Bonsai (small) – Up to 8 inch (20 cm) in height
Kifu Sho Bonsai (medium) – Up to 16 inch (40.5 cm) in height
Chu Bonsai (medium large) – Up to 24 (61 cm) inch in height
Dai Bonsai (large) – Up to 40 (101.5 cm) inch in height

==========================

2.

0-3" Micro Shito
3-6" Miniature Mame
6-12" Small Shohin
12-24" Medium Komono
24-40" Large Omono
40-60" Extra Large Hachi-uye
60-120" Imperial

==========================

3.

Miniature bonsai

Keshitsubo Poppy-seed size 1–3 in (3–8 cm)
Shito Fingertip size 2–4 in (5–10 cm)
Shohin Palm size 2–6 in (5–15 cm)
Mame One-handed 5–8 in (13–20 cm)
Komono One-handed 6–10 in (15–25 cm)

Medium-sized bonsai

Katade-mochi One-handed 10–18 in (25–46 cm)
Chumono Two-handed 16–36 in (41–91 cm)
Chiu Two-handed 16–36 in (41–91 cm)

Large bonsai

Omono Four-handed 30–48 in (76–122 cm)
Dai Four-handed 30–48 in (76–122 cm)
Hachi-uye Six-handed 40–60 in (102–152 cm)
Imperial bonsai Eight-handed 60–80 in (152–203 cm)

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Re: Bonsai Sizes

Post  William N. Valavanis on Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:41 pm

I suggest we spend our valuable time creating beautiful bonsai and appreciating them, than waste time trying to figure out something that is not important and nobody has a definitive answer too, because the Japanese don't always agree anyways.

Bill

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Re: Bonsai Sizes

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:43 pm

William N. Valavanis wrote:I suggest we spend our valuable time creating beautiful bonsai and appreciating them, than waste time trying to figure out something that is not important and nobody has a definitive answer too, because the Japanese don't always agree anyways.

Bill
Damn, where's that "like" button?

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Re: Bonsai Sizes

Post  marcus watts on Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:28 pm

westerners often need more of a helping hand so letting everything under 25cm be classed as shohin helps fill the slots with trees - clubs and organisations can also be very anal and so feel the need to define it to the mm - - - i'd echo two posts here and just lighten up and let the owner of the actual tree enter what they see fit in the way they interpret the classifications. if it is outside the accepted guides dont let it win any awards.

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Re: Bonsai Sizes

Post  MichaelJ on Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:46 pm

William N. Valavanis wrote:I suggest we spend our valuable time creating beautiful bonsai and appreciating them, than waste time trying to figure out something that is not important and nobody has a definitive answer too, because the Japanese don't always agree anyways.
I don't really spend but a moment or two pondering this, but since I've gotten three different fliers at different clubs/shows that have totally different classifications, I would like to know which, if any, is correct. Or if all of them are correct, and it just depends on where you are, in which case I'd like to know which one applies where I am. I'm certainly not someone who would get into an argument over whether something "qualifies" as one of these classifications, but if possible, I'd prefer to know what I'm talking about when I'm talking about it.

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Re: Bonsai Sizes

Post  nekotoban on Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:05 am

I heard about the size problem from a  regular winner of major bonsai exhibits. He claimed that  judges tend too soft on shohin size.
I have also seen shohin winner trees which are over 20cm many times. On the other hand, mini/mame size gets severly judged…the judges
literally measure mini class trees with a measure. If trees are bigger than standard, they will be out of the race.

In Japan, mini bonsai size is said under 10cm and at Gafu and Syuga-ten they have mini section for under 10cm and 7cm.

William N. Valavanis wrote:I suggest we spend our valuable time creating beautiful bonsai and appreciating them, than waste time trying to figure out something that is not important and nobody has a definitive answer too, because the Japanese don't always agree anyways.

Bill
I do agree with you.

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Re: Bonsai Sizes

Post  Guest on Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:38 am

Here is a "definitive answer"

Super small- Mini
Little- Small
Not so big- Medium
Bigger than medium- Large
If its too big to be large and Fits a Garden- Garden Bonsai


Smile

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Re: Bonsai Sizes

Post  JimLewis on Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:25 pm

but since I've gotten three different fliers at different clubs/shows that have totally different classifications, I would like to know which, if any, is correct. Or if all of them are correct,
Each is correct for that club/show.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Bonsai Sizes

Post  Guest on Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:48 pm

JimLewis wrote:
but since I've gotten three different fliers at different clubs/shows that have totally different classifications, I would like to know which, if any, is correct. Or if all of them are correct,
Each is correct for that club/show.

correct.
here locally, I have a feeling that we give size category winners for show to please more partcipants in receiving more awards. but the downside of that is that smaller trees which us quite difficult to make than the larger ones were being marginalized as second class only to the big trees which shouldn't be the case. I haven't seen any best in show bonsai here coming from the smaller trees.

regards,
jun Smile 

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Re: Bonsai Sizes

Post  JimLewis on Tue Oct 01, 2013 3:50 pm

I haven't seen any best in show bonsai here coming from the smaller trees.
No, and in shows where both are being displayed you never will, especially in the West where bigger is always better (except, it seems, in the tech world). Even in the Kokufen books, you'll note that the small trees are shown (in groups) at the back of the book.

We little tree guys "don't get no respect."

And, you're right that it's (much) harder to develop a good tree-like image in a tree that is 2-4 inches tall than it is to do the same thing in something 2-4 feet tall (or larger).


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Re: Bonsai Sizes

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